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Old May 23rd, 2009, 12:40 PM   #46
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Hi Marj,
Wow, what a piece you are putting together. I can't believe the depth of your knowledge! I too felt there was a bit too much information telling the same story, & like Rob had said, i felt you could have simply shown shots of other plants without the explanation, giving us time to simply absorb the information, & maybe think about how it works with the plant being shown, maybe even try to count the numbers for ourselves. Ok, so maybe that would take to long for a shot to be shown, but i guess you know what i mean.
Your footage is stunning, your subject is fascinating, & your knowledge of your subject is obviously vast. I am sure when this all comes together it will be just like your other UWOL submissions, & be a very polished, very professional piece & i am really looking forward to seeing more.
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Old May 24th, 2009, 09:17 AM   #47
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Absolutely fascinating with beautiful images, interesting facts (That I had to rewind in order to absorb on occasion) and I must say that you have a beautiful and soothing voice.

Very professional and nicely done...I can't wait to see how you put it into a final form.
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Old May 29th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #48
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I must say I really value the input from everyone. You have all helped so much in bringing my attention to little things that I hadnít thought of and I will definitely have a better outcome as a result.

Per - Static clips are the biggest bug bear when it comes to doing macro work and I admit I didnít put much thought into solving the problem due to the last minute rush. I think your idea of using some time lapse here is a very good one because I donít have to touch the camera with time-lapse. As you know all too well touching the camera, even a little bit in close-up, knocks the image around wildly, never mind trying to pan with it in that mode. Fortunately, I have subsequently thought of a couple of solutions to this problem and I am busy working on it.

Rob - Thanks for your observations. Glad you picked up on some of those little things - I will check them out. This entire sequence is going to be reduced by half its length so much of the repetition will be gone. I have to balance things very finely - give enough information to make it easy to follow but keep it short enough to keep interest going.

Bryce - really appreciate your comments and thanks for your suggestions - very helpful - and every bit helps.

Jeff - a lot of work still to go but hopefully it will pull together in the end. Found your comments encouraging and helpful - my biggest problem is to find a way to convey info effectively so folk donít have to rewind to absorb it or get bored with too much. I really donít want to end up with a classroom lesson which is what I have here at the moment.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:00 PM   #49
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Hi Marj.
Great colors, crisp and clear.
Also like your VO, and as a foreigner to english it's omportant for me to understand what's been said - and I do :)
The part 2 of your ULF, seems a bit static, but I'm sure this will be all changed in the final film. I think it has to do with all the information given at a short time. If it's possible, maybe put some questions in, to make it more exciting?
I think you have a great plan for your ULF.

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Old August 12th, 2009, 05:20 PM   #50
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Uwol Long Form #3

Filming the material required for this long form film has kept me pretty busy . What a mission! I must say, however, that filming this section was a lot of fun.

We had a good break at the coast last week which we deliberately planned around the low spring tide at full moon (Thursday). This did not leave me much time to do a great deal with the footage after getting back. I had the opportunity to film a variety of useful things from snow-covered mountains to sunny beaches; rock pools and seashore animals; pineapple plants and some bits and pieces at a gem of a game park weíve never been to before. Uwol certainly pushes our boundaries and makes life pretty interesting in unexpected ways! I have met so many delightful, helpful people along the way.

I have not been able to give you a story to help you along this time unfortunately. I will drop the music and most of the beach and rock pool scenery which are just gap fillers for the music this round. Basically this section will cover the mathematics found in many of the seashore species and its purpose. The pentamerous, radially symmetrical design of the sea stars, cushion stars and brittle stars as well as the pentagonal mathematics found in the exquisite pansy shells - relatives of the sea urchins that also bear spines while alive. Many of these species can be found at the lowest levels of the sea shore in rock pools that are exposed at low springtide.

I am very grateful to my friend Debbie, a dental surgeon, for doing the X-ray of the little ram's horn shell (Spirula spirula) for me and to my neighbour Sherryl who very generously offered her comprehensive and beautiful shell collection for me to film. In this collection she amazingly had two Nautilus shells, one with it the exterior surface polished off to reveal the beautiful pearly surface below. The Nautilus shell displays self-similarity in the structure of its flotation chambers that are arranged in a logorhythmic spiral - all of which will be explained in detail in my final story. The Nautilus lives inside the shell which is approximately 20cm across while the little 2cm ramís horn shell is the internal skeleton of the Spirula - a squid-like creature that lives 1000M below sea level and is therefore rarely seen. Their shells, however, are found scattered along our beaches in great numbers.

I may also include the Paper Nautilus. (Not shown in this submission) I found a number of these large, delicate shells washed up on the beach after a storm many years ago. The paper Nautilus shell is in fact the egg case made by the female octopus that guards the entrance. Who would have thought then they would come in useful for something like this!!!

The cone shells are examples of natural cellular automata.

My video has been uploaded to the Uwol Challenge site and should be up on Vimeo sometime tomorrow. Look forward to viewing your films. I was short of bandwidth last round with Uwol 13 going at the same time so I apologise for not commenting on some of your films - hope to sort that out this time round.

Last edited by Marj Atkins; August 12th, 2009 at 11:46 PM.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #51
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My video is now uploaded at Vimeo for anyone who would prefer to view it at a higher resolution.

By design (#3) selected clips on Vimeo
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Old August 13th, 2009, 12:48 PM   #52
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Really really nice!


I like your composing in the cut here Marj, and understand you have strong card on hand.
This cut with a god Marj story, I lock forword to this one.


All best fore this film.


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Last edited by Vidar Vedaa; August 13th, 2009 at 01:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old August 13th, 2009, 04:26 PM   #53
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Beautiful macro work, Marj. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I hope you showed the nautilus shell and the cowry on black backgrounds because you intend to add the equasions later. Demonstrating that god thinks in math will blow people away.
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Old August 13th, 2009, 08:04 PM   #54
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Marj,

A lot of fantastic images!!! the colors and compositions arre sweet, How did you do the rotation of the subjects? Pretty slick. the compositing is grand, done in After Effects???
A couple portions of pans seem to stutter ever so slightly, is that a compression issue??


Can't wait to see the final rendition!!
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Old August 14th, 2009, 04:59 AM   #55
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Thanks Vidar, Steve and Dale for your comments. I have been working steadily gathering my information and images but still have some way to go yet before I can pull it all together into one story.

I set out at the beginning of this project with the aim of learning new techniques. After the almost unanimous comments about the static images last round I have been trying out different ways of solving the problem because I have so many little illustrations which only require one object in the frame - like one flower or one shell. Rob and Chris both mentioned the idea of using an elastic when doing pans - which I tried - and this works like a dream even when using a macro lens. (Thanks guys.)

One idea I came up with was the turntable which I thought would be effective when doing the spiral shells. After doing some research into the matter, I hauled in the technocrats around me and we - sorry they - put together a basic turntable for me made from a windscreen wiper motor, a lazy susan bearing and a v-belt linking two grooved circles of wood (make-shift gears). The main issue here was getting it to turn slowly enough. Using a potentiometer instead of the v-belt (the easy solution) just would not bring the speed down enough - there is a limit to the amount of power one can take away before the motor just won't work.

The compression this round has highlighted a couple of problems for me - the major one is with the compositing. This is the first time I have tried compositing images and I used Premier Pro. However, while my blacks are black in the original, in the compressed versions you can clearly see the differences in the blacks of the composited images. I will fix this now that I am aware of the issue. I am learning After Effects and will sort it out there - if my poor brain can handle any more info that is. I feel like I have been studying for a major math and biology exam the last few months - and I thought this was going to be easy! The research has taken me deeper and deeper into this fascinating subject which has advanced so much since I first learned about it in high school. What I did not realise when I started was that pattern formation in nature and plant morphology in particular are still being actively investigated by mathemeticians and biologists today and they are discovering some amazing things. Problem is, I now have to digest it all and put it into a simple, understandable form. This sequence thankfully has given me some light relief!

Last edited by Marj Atkins; August 14th, 2009 at 10:57 AM.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 09:18 AM   #56
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Very good Marj, I can see youíve been hard at work! Isnít it fun learning new things? Iím working on learning more AE too. Good job incorporating movement into your shots. I especially liked the wipe with the Chambered Nautilus shells. With the Spirula you might do a composite showing that the chambered shell is internal like the remnant shells of squid and octopods. Maybe just an outline of the body around the shell that then fades away. Were all of your reef shots done underwater or were some shot through aquarium glass? Very nicely done if so. I loved the X-radiogram. A sped up macro shot showing the sinusoidal rhythm of movements in echinoderm tube feet might be useful. Perhaps put an urchin in an empty aquarium and shoot up through the bottom? Watching your finished program will be a real treat.
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Old August 14th, 2009, 11:31 AM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
With the Spirula you might do a composite showing that the chambered shell is internal like the remnant shells of squid and octopods. Maybe just an outline of the body around the shell that then fades away.
Hi Mike - thanks for your comments.

I have been trying to work out how to acquire images of these animals and had thought of doing some illustrations. I like your idea of just doing the outline - that would simplify the task. Good idea.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
Were all of your reef shots done underwater or were some shot through aquarium glass? Very nicely done if so.
Many of the rockpool shots like the lobster were done in situ, but none of my underwater shots were done underwater. I needed plan B - so before I even got to the rock pools at spring tide I did some back-up footage at the aquarium - just in case. All I can say is I am very glad I did because there wasn't a single sea star to be found even though the tide was way down. I really battled with the dim lighting in the aquarium. You can can actually see the octopus is up against the glass here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sims View Post
A sped up macro shot showing the sinusoidal rhythm of movements in echinoderm tube feet might be useful. Perhaps put an urchin in an empty aquarium and shoot up through the bottom? Watching your finished program will be a real treat.
Right - now how am I supposed to do that, now that I am 6 hours from the nearest rock pool!!?? Fortunately not essential for my final film - but would be nice to include -as would
footage of the sea star protruding its stomach into a mussel and literally liquidating its prey before consuming it!!! :)
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Old August 16th, 2009, 02:33 PM   #58
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Marj,

Again you show us your talent. Your macros are always clear and tasteful colored.
The rotating objects gives live to the images. It was a good idea. The illustrations are also very good.
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Old August 16th, 2009, 05:21 PM   #59
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Hey Marj

Nice continuation of the matematical /geometric theme to your piece. Loving some of the shot and I like the turntable work. For this sort of thing I thing its a perfect way of illustrating your concepts. I also like the use of cut through sections through the shells showing the internal structures. - As I said before and I know you are aware of I think your challenge is the provide interesting back stories to link your math into other aspects and stories of the natural world. That will really make the piece solid and keep the viewers interest on your main subject.

I am really looking foward to seeing all this put together and undertanding some of these principles !

Great stuff!
Mat
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Old August 17th, 2009, 11:17 AM   #60
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Hi Marj.
A big change from nr 2 this is, so many great shots.
I like the way you show the different shapes and I'm looking forward to see how it all will turn out in the end :) How you will put together the end product from the 3 videos you have given us in this forum.
That's one of the things I like about this competition, you never know what or how the end product will be.

All the best.
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